Arizona veterans are leading a push to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) added to the list of qualifying conditions in the state's medical marijuana program.
While the Department of Veteran Affairs began allowing patients to use medical marijuana in states in which it is legal in 2010, the federal government continues to send mixed messages to those who risked their lives to defend our country. Veterans have testified in droves that cannabis has helped symptoms of PTSD much better than limiting and zombie-inducing prescription medications.
With medical marijuana legal in 16 states (what's the hold-up, CT Gov. Malloy?) and Washington, D.C., gone are the days marijuana was considered something that only hippies did at a Grateful Dead show. But the federal government still considers marijuana to be terrifyingly-addictive and dangerous, and that's a problem for students on college campuses who use marijuana to keep pain and disease effects at bay during their studies.
Though it still retains its Schedule I classification within the federal government, doctors have come out in support of marijuana's therapeutic effects, and people across the globe are beginning to chant a little more in-unison about the power of this little plant.
Problematically, however, universities are caught in a conundrum; if they follow federal law, they deny students their medicine. If they follow the state law, they risk losing federal funding. And, well, when it comes down to people versus money, what do you think usually wins?
We reported earlier this month that "Proponents of medical marijuana are pushing the Arizona Department of Health Services to include post-traumatic stress disorder in its list of qualifying conditions." Although Arizona is still grappling with how to properly and efficiently implement the state's voter-approved medical marijuana program, that hasn't stopped The Department of Health Services from considering these requests to add to the list of conditions that would qualify for medical marijuana use under state law.
Proponents of medical marijuana are pushing the Arizona Department of Health Services to include post-traumatic stress disorder in its list of qualifying conditions.
Arizona's Prop 203 legalized marijuana for medical use in 2010, allowing those with approval to cultivate the drug. But while severe conditions like cancer, HIV and AIDS are addressed in the law, there are still many diseases and afflictions that the "Arizona Medical Marijuana Act" doesn't cover.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, PTSD is an "anxiety disorder that some people get after seeing or living through a dangerous event." When a person is in danger, they feel a "fight or flight" urge - either to face the danger or run from it - but in people with PTSD, that urge is broken; "People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger," says the NIMH.